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2-year-old struck, killed after 3-year-old gets behind wheel of truck at California gas station

A 3-year-old who was able to take control of a vehicle Saturday, struck and killed a 2-year-old standing in a California gas station parking lot, authorities shared.

A truck had been left running while parked at a gas pump of a 76 station in Sacramento, according to Woodland police. A toddler inside of the truck was able to climb out of a car seat and into the driver’s seat and move the vehicle. The truck struck the toddler who was standing near a taco stand on the edge of the parking lot, police said.

When authorities arrived on scene, the girl hit by the car, who has been identified as Ailahni Sanchez Martinez, had already been transported to the hospital where she died from her injuries, according to police.

Officers interviewed those on site to gain an understanding of what happened, but the investigation is ongoing.

“We are working to ensure a thorough investigation is completed. This includes taking statements, analyzing evidence, reviewing video surveillance footage, creating scene diagrams, and completing investigative reports. We ask for the community’s patience while this occurs,” Woodland police said in a Facebook update.

‘What happened is not right’

The victim’s parents spoke to NBC affiliate KCRA of Sacramento after the incident.

The truck was spotted moving towards Ailahni who was standing near family as they were preparing to open their taco stand.

“I heard a scream and ran because I saw it going toward my daughter, but it was too late,” the girl’s father, Sandro Sanchez, told the affiliate.

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Ailahni was just a month away from turning three, her mother, Rosa Martinez, told KCRA. “She was always happy. She loved to dance and brought joy to the family.”

The family is calling for justice.

“He left the vehicle running and with a child inside,” said Sanchez. “What happened is not right.”

“We want justice. … I lost my daughter because of someone else.” 

A GoFundMe page has been set up by relatives of the girl to assist with covering expenses related to the Ailahni’s death. As of Wednesday, more than $22,000 of a $25,000 goal had been raised.

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